Blane Strohn from Paicines and his uncle, Pat Kirby were in Las Vegas, Nevada last week to compete in the #10 Yeti World Series of Team Roping Finale (WSTR ) held at the SouthPoint Hotel and Casino. The two came out 23rd out of 625 teams. In order to rope at the WSTR Finale, you must qualify by attending a previous qualifier roping placing in the top two. Strohn and Kirby did just that, qualifying for the bright lights of Las Vegas.
Roping comes naturally for both. Pat Kirby is owner of Kirby Cattle Company in Wilton, California. Kirby’s father, Jack Kirby, worked for the Santa Anita Ranch in Tres Pinos for over 40 years. Blane Strohn, Kirby’s nephew, was raised on a cow-calf operation ranch in southern San Benito County. Blane now works for Premiere Equine Center in Oakdale, California.
Pat and Blane’s game plan going into the finale was just to rope all three steers clean and under 10 seconds to qualify for the short round on Thursday night. Hoping to just to draw up Thursday, that all changed when they were in the 1st Rotation on Wednesday – Team #108. Wednesday afternoon rolled around and it was time for the uncle and nephew team to rope.
Blane’s family (Gene, Shana, & reporter Blaire) along with Pat’s wife DeDe Kirby patiently waited in the stands nervous as heck as the California team prepared to rope. Blane and Pat roped all three steers clean and under ten seconds placing sixth in their rotation qualifying for the finale on Thursday. You must place in the top 10 in the rotation to compete in the short round finale for the roping.
With a full day of roping on Thursday with 4 more rotations, the short round of the #10 WSTR Finale came down to the wire. Pat and Blane were 40th high team call back to the short round. Kirby and Strohn roped their final steer in a smooth 8.80 seconds to secure 23rd out or 625 teams in the #10 WSTR Finale.
“Talk about some tough roping”, Pat Kirby said, “I never seen a roping so tough and being one of the few California teams in the short go.” After the roping was concluded Blane joined his family in the stands and could not believe what had just happened. For him, it was like a flash before his eyes that they placed in the top 25 out of 600 tough ropers from all across the United States.
Kirby and Strohn hope to return next year and do just the same or maybe even secure that elusive WSTR Finale Championship. For now, they will focus on perfecting their game, competing at local jackpots and entering some World Series Team Ropings in California.
Note: Blaire Strohn, reported on this event for BenitoLink. Blaire is the younger sister of Blane Strohn.